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As I See It

Managing parking ramps shouldn’t be so difficult



They mean well, they simply don’t know what they are doing. That is the synopsis of the city of La Crosse’s Parking Utility Board.

And that assessment comes from the new chairman of the board, councilman Dick Swantz. It is a blunt assessment, but not necessarily inaccurate. The board has struggled to find its way since its existence, initially dragging its feet in figuring out when to charge people to park in the ramps, and how much to charge them. That literally took years. And it still isn’t right. The board is considering raising rates, and reducing the number of free parking hours. As we have said, they should make it simple. If they want to continue to offer free parking, it should be for no more than an hour. And those seeking a space should be charged $1 an hour…less than most cities, but a nice even number. Swantz tells WIZM News the board still needs to determine its mission, saying they don’t have a budget, a staff, or control over street parking. They may need a mission, but not a budget or staff. The pay gates are automated. It is not clear why the board would need a staff, or a budget. And they shouldn’t have to worry about street parking. No one is complaining about that, and the city already vigilantly enforces those rules. What they do need is to simplify the rules and fees for parking in La Crosse ramps, and call it mission accomplished.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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